I watched as he grabbed his Children’s Bible and began to thumb through the pages, looking for the perfect story for bedtime. This was his favorite bedtime book, the one we always had to read just before we turned out the lights. We’d read it so much, he could practically recite most of the favorite stories.
As I watched his chubby toddler fingers turning the pages, looking for just the right story, I saw him flip toward the front of the book and land on a story we’d never read before. In fact, it was one I didn’t know very well. The selected story that night was Hannah’s story and the birth of Samuel.
I read him this story of Hannah praying desperately for a child, and then when she had the much-prayed-for son, she handed him over to God. I sat there next to my own much-prayed-for son, this child I never expected out of my own journey through infertility, and felt every emotion in Hannah’s story.
Through tears, I felt Hannah’s desperation as she prayed for God to bless her with a child after many years of infertility. Promising God in 1 Samuel 1:11, “Lord Almighty, if you will only look on your servant’s misery and remember me and not forget your servant but give her a son, then I will give him to the Lord for all the days of his life.”
How many times do we make deals with God like this, extravagant promises in our desperation? Yet, how often do we actually follow through with our wild promises when God does answer?
God did bless Hannah with a son and she did the incredible. She actually kept her promise to God and gave her little son over to a life of serving God as a priest. As soon as she’d weaned him, she gave him to the priest Eli to raise in the temple. Samuel couldn’t have been much older than my son when Hannah gave him over to God (and Eli).
As I read her words as she dedicated her son to God, I knew I had to pray these same words over my son and similarly hand him over to God.
Not to hand him over to a priest to raise, but to let go of my motherly control and with my whole heart hand his life over to God. Trust that God has a plan for this child and that whatever may come, God is in control and has this child in His hands.
“I prayed for this child, and the Lord has granted me what I asked of him. So now I give him to the Lord. For his whole life he will be given over to the Lord.” 1 Samuel 1:27-28
Little did I know that night how important this prayer would be for us. How much I needed to hand over this child to God and fully accept that God’s got him in His hands.
We’ve been on quite a journey with this precious boy in the years since. More times than I can count I’ve been in tears, unsure what to do next and who to ask for help. Each time, God has gently reminded me of this prayer.
“I’ve got him” are the words I hear whispered to my heart. I remember the prayer and I breathe a little deeper, relax my shoulders, and trust again that God will lead us through whatever the latest trial brings.
Raising children – boys or girls – is such a challenge and not one to undertake all on our own. We need to lean on God’s help in this task. I’m learning to lean into the trust that He’s got my children and their futures in His hands. I’m learning to go to God first (before friends, Google or Facebook) when I’m facing a dilemma and allow Him to lead me to the next step.
Consider praying these words over your child today. Not just to say the words, but to truly release your grip, open your hands wide, and hand your child fully to God; accepting in your heart that God’s got him.
God, I prayed for this child and he’s so dear and precious to me. As his mother, I feel so responsible for his life and raising him to be the man you intend. Yet, I know my human limitations to help him face the unexpected challenges the world will throw at him. So, today, I give him over to You. Fully. You are in charge of his life and his future. You’ve got him. You always have and you always will. I’m here to listen to Your guidance on how to be the best mother I can be and I’m trusting You with his life. No matter what challenges and trials come our way, I want to trust that You have him (and us) in your hands and you’ve got whatever we’re facing. Today, I hand over this child to you for his whole life. You’ve got him. Amen.Let go of motherly control and remember God's got your son in His perfect care. #boymom @KathrynPShirey Click To Tweet
Kathryn Shirey writes about prayer, growing closer to God, and God’s vision for our lives on her blog, Finding Hope and is also the author of the Pray Deep Prayer Journal series. Connect with Kathryn on her blog, Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest.